The plants in a low-light low tech tank get all their CO2 from the water movement and fish breathing, right? I don't want to supplement CO2 if I don't have to.
Any recommendations for when I should do my first water change? The tank is a bit cloudy right now, I'm thinking it's the bacterial bloom you mentioned since we're at about the 48h mark. All the girls seem happy though and with the exception of one having a couple nips in her tail this morning they seem to be getting along.
I wouldn't have put the f-bettas in the tank without QTing them for at least 2 weeks. Too late now.
Hopefully the newly acquired bettas don't have any illness or ICK. Otherwise you will have to treat your ENTIRE tank.
I would have waited till after New Years before introduction. That way your plants will have more time to grow, the cloudy water would clear up, & you don't have to worry about them fighting/killing each other or possibly getting ill from a ammonia spike or contaminates from your mom's fish tank.
Adding all those extra fertz in addition with NEW eco-complete can make your tank a bit unstable for the first 2 weeks.
I wouldn't touch the water/filter for at least 2 weeks. Maybe even 3. Don't dose any more fertz for at LEAST a month.
Just do water tests with the API kit. Create a log & write down the results to monitor the readings.
Take pictures of the tank every 12 or 24 hours.
Plants that don't survive, make a note of & DON'T add any more of those to the tank. Sometimes you can do everything according to recommendations & for some reason the plant withers away.
10W should be okay, I just prefer MORE light. 10W are IMO too dim, but I'll pick up a pack of those next time I'm @ Wallys & see if they'll work.
All of the girls were in QT for a couple days before I put them in the tank and all look and act healthy and are good eaters. There was a bit more aggression today at feeding time, but nothing too serious. The water is a bit hazy looking, not 100% crystal clear, but clear enough for me to see the plants and fish perfectly. I don't plan on adding any more fish for a few weeks to give the tank time to establish - I just hope the girls are accepting when I do, lol.
I only added 1ml of Flourish when it said to add 3mls for my tank. Someone else on this forum told me to add the ferts immediately after planting. I'm so confused with all this different info, lol! The plants look good except a few of the crypts are getting some dark green spots on them. I'm pretty sure my anacharis has already grown, same with the bacopa. I have moved things around a little bit to fill in places - some of the stem plants floated to the top and needed to be replanted anyway.
At work, we keep everything on a 16/8 cycle, but I was reading online that the most you want to do in an aquarium is 12/12, so that's what I've been doing since the plants were added. I know keeping the lights on longer will allow algae to grow and I don't really want that, but I'd like my tank lights to be on so I can watch my fish at night when I am home, lol! I've been having them go on at 8:30am and off at 8:30pm.
Also, crypts are definitely melting. I've read this is normal for them when placed in a new set up, so I'm just going to leave them alone and see what happens.
Last edited by carbonxxkidd; 12-24-2012 at 10:09 PM.
With the lights, if you want it to be 12/12, try that for a week or two and see how the algae and plant growth work, if you start growing too much algae, then cut it back by an hour or two each day.
What is suggested though is to start at 8 and them work your way up if you are able just to avoid as much algae as you can.
And with the crypts, just cut back the leaves and leave the bulb/rhizome (whatever it's called), it'll save the plants energy and help it grow bac faster. Most suppliers usually send only the bulb with no leaves to help it grow faster when it gets into a new tank, still needs and adjusting period, but not as long.
Okay! No algae yet, but it's only been 3 days. I will probably change my light cycle to be on when I'm at home, so from like 2pm-10pm or something then. My crypts were sent with only 2-4 leaves on them, and it looks like I will end up cutting most of those off today.
If at any point the test results indicate dangerous levels of toxins do a water change to keep the numbers STABLE.
Also I mentioned QT for 1 week, however during the winter the time period should be INCREASED to 2 weeks before the intial introduction to a tank.
Ideally you would QT'd for 2 weeks while you conducted tests every 24/48 hours to check/confirm the results for your filter.
Since you've had ISSUES with "cycling" your filter before, I assumed the SAFER route would have appealed to you.
The main reason I suggested NOT adding MORE fertz is due to the "dirty" water from the "established" tank & the built in nutrients in the NEW batch of eco-complete substrate. That alone should have been sufficient to sustain your plants for a few weeks if not a month. Adding fertz too earlier could be overkill & create early algae issues. Dosing incorrectly without diluting first with sufficient water can also burn/melt the plants.
Even though you do have some "possibly established" media from the Eheim, it still takes the b-bacteria time to disperse inside the canister & adjust to their new environment. Rarely is the cycling complete "instantaneously" with the addition of seeded media.
Also when introducing "newbie bettas", their chasing/fighting is going to create extra NH3, so you want the filter READY.
Too much of the "bottled" nutrients & the "bacteria bloom" can create additional stress for the fish & that's the main reason they end up getting sick/dying.
Plants too also need a adjustment period & when introduced to a BRAND new tank they can go dormant/hibernate or melt/wither away if the chemical composition of the water isn't right.
For lighting..... Ultimately, this is YOUR tank, do whatever you feel works best for you.
I've adjusted the mechanical timers on my tanks to turn on 30 minutes after it's DARK outside. Fluorescent remain ON for about 10 hours maybe longer if I'm working on something. Give or take 10-12 hours.
My 5g is cycled now, with no help from my mom's media. I really don't think I was having problems, I just didn't really understand the process. It took about 5 weeks to do a fish-in cycle, which is apparently normal.
Readings on the 29g have all been 0 so far, I'm assuming the plants are taking care of all the bad stuff. My mom did happen to have a second strip light at home which she gave me today to replace the clamp light. It's only 18" but definitely works much better. I switched my timers to have the lights on for 10 hours starting tomorrow, will increase to 12 once plants get established.
Tank looks nice and clear now, too. I had a pretty intense protein film forming this morning but that is also gone. I DID bring home some ceriodaphnia (tiny tiny daphnia, basically too small for the fish to even notice so they won't eat them right away) from work today, in the hopes that they would help clear up the water if there was algae forming or something. Not sure if that is why my tank cleared up or if things are just getting established. Either way, things are going well. :)